Leap Into Literacy Kindergarten


Big picture


Concepts About Print or CAP refers to children's knowledge of print awareness and how books work. While many students will arrive in Kindergarten with a solid understanding of Concepts About Print, there are many who do not. This foundation is critical before formal reading instruction takes place and is developed over the prekindergarten and kindergarten years, through intentional acts of teaching.

Emergent Literacy Concepts:

Marie Clay once stated, "Early in literacy learning children must discover something about the arbitrary conventions we have for putting the language we speak into printed form."

Here are those conventions that children must understand:

  • Top to Bottom
  • Front to Back
  • Left to Right
  • First and Last
  • Return Sweep
  • Print holds the Message
  • Differentiation between Print and Pictures
  • Upper Case
  • Difference between a letter and a word
  • One to one matching
  • Concept of a Period

How Teachers Support CAP:

Teachers can support the development of concepts of print by explicitly showing students the features of written language. This might include modeling the difference between a letter and a word, how to count the number of words on a page, or the number of letters in a word. Teachers can use many activities to teach print concepts, such as pointing out key features of books while reading aloud, or modeling writing a morning message, or the all-time favorite, repeated shared readings of big books and favorite stories.

How Parents Support CAP:

To help direct your child's attention to the print in a book, parents can focus on:

  • The meaning of the print. This includes pointing out specific words within a book and drawing the child's attention to the print. For example, "Here are the penguin's words. He says, thank you."
  • The organization of the book and print, which includes understanding the way pages are read, the role of the author, and print direction. For example, "I am going to read this page first and then this page over here next." Or "This is the top of the page. This is where I begin reading."
  • The letters, which includes helping your child know that letters come in uppercase and lowercase, and helping your child learn the names of each letter. For example, "This M in the red block is an uppercase letter. See how this uppercase letter is bigger than these lowercase letters?"
  • The words, which includes helping your child recognize some written words, and the match between spoken words and written words. For example, "Let's point to each word as I read it. Ready?"

(Reading Rockets: Simple Yet Powerful Things to do While Reading Aloud) See Link Below: